Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Out of Body Expereinces

Do you ever have moments
where you think back at something you've done and think
"Who the hell was I?"

And no, I don't mean the regretful drunken college decisions you may or may not have made.
But those things that aren't "typical" you.
Those things that make you smile on the inside and think,
yep, I did that.

Getting my belly button pierced was one of these moments.
Although, looking back that is kind of typical.
It was my 18th birthday and I had been talking about it forever.
No one thought I actually would.
I was kind of a wuss.
But I did and I took it like a champ.
(The big, tatted up man who did it might have a different story but don't believe a word he says.)

Or when my best friend and I picked up and drove to Virginia our senior year
to visit her kind-of, sort-of college boyfriend
and his roommates who we had never even met.
This is shocking for several reasons.
One. I have zero sense of direction. Nada.
And the fact that this was pre-GPS days makes the fact that we arrived in one piece pretty darn impressive.
Two. I'm funny about staying overnight at new places.
I am not a "sleep where you fall down" kind of girl.
In college I spent just as much time figuring out how I was going to get home from a party
back to my own comfy bed
as I did on what I was going to wear.
Three. These guys were hipsters before hipsters were even really a thing.
My friend and I...were no where close.

I was also a stage hand one time...kind of.
Somehow, in high school, I ended up in charge of the lighting
for the Civic Theater's production of Peter Pan.
That's right, those big spotlights that follow the actors around,
I was in charge of that.
It was pretty cool.
And surprisingly pretty easy.
And again, something I would never be pegged to do.

Granted, none of these things are really that amazing
or even that far-fetched.
But they are reallyyyyy out of character for me
and always kind of surprise me when I think back on them.

What have you done that shocks and awes even you?


Monday, April 29, 2013

Because I Never Get Tired of Me.

And because I never like to miss out on blogging trend!
Thanks to little Mrs. Erin, these tough questions have taken over the blogisphere
and I couldn't help but participate.
Plus also, I figured why not share even more deep dark secrets with the world wide web.
It is my blog after all.


1. If you could do one thing differently in your life, what would it be?
I would take a year off after college instead of jumping immediately into my career. Don't get me wrong, I love my job. But I don't think I would have loved it any less if I had waited a year before starting it. Being 22 years old, fresh out of college, and finding yourself in the position you plan to be in until retirement is daunting. I was so ready to start my "grown-up" life that I don't think I really enjoyed those last few moments of my "not so grown-up" life. 

2. Where do you see yourself in five years?
I'll be gearing up for the biggest, baddest "Dirty 30" birthday party (yes it will take a whole year of preparation). Hopefully we'll have one little munchkin toddling around. I'm sure I'll still be teaching but hopefully in five years I'll finally feel like I know what I'm doing. 

More details of my future visions can be found here.

3. Do you honestly want kids?
Yes. I honestly do. I think raising kids with Robbie is going to be so much fun and while I'm in no real rush, I am getting eager to start thinking about that chapter of our lives.

4. What has been the best moment of your life so far?
Erin had the best answer for this question. I like to think that my days and weeks are made up of tiny "best moments". Anytime I accomplish a goal I've set for myself, big or small. When both my puppies crawl up on the couch to snuggle me after a long day. When my kids finally get something they've been struggling with. The way my husband still gives me butterflies. I feel blessed to have had so many "best moments" in my life so far that I have a hard time picking just one. 

5. What is your life theme song?

Along with about 34568 others, depending on my current mood.
But this one popped in my mind first.

6. What is one thing you have yet to accomplish that you want to do before you die?
Drive cross country, visiting all 48 continental states in the process.

Again, along with 39845 other things, but this popped in my mind first. 

7. If you could choose one thing to be known for, what would it be?
Choosing just one thing is tough. I want to be known as a good, wholesome person. Someone who's reliable and trustworthy. Who's going to tell you like it is, but in a good way. Someone who would give the shirt of her back to help others. Someone who knows how to have a good time but can also work her tooshie off. That girl you con confide in, bitch to, laugh with, and share a fishbowl margarita with.

8. If you could do anything you wanted right now in this very moment (no consequences, no fear, etc.) what would it be?
Pick up and move to NYC, just for a year. I like the roots I'm planting here but I would give anything to live smack dab in the middle of all the hustle and bustle for a little while.

9. What has been the most challenging moment in your life?
Having to step outside of my naive bubble and find myself face to face with the cruel reality that sometimes is our world. I was not a sheltered kid by any stretch of the imagination. But I did grow up with a very idealistic view of the world. Holding on to this idealistic view has been tough growing up.

10. Summarize yourself in one word.


Happy Monday lover pants!


Friday, April 26, 2013


Except not really.
I feel way too sick for either one of these
but we're going on Field Trip today 
which means being sick is not an option.
And going on a Field Trip means happy hour is not an option.

TGIF y'all.

I'm throwing it way back today.
I'm gonna need something peppy and upbeat in my head 
to get me through the next 8 hours.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Ten Years From Now...

Lately, several of my favorite bloggers
have been reminiscing about one of my favorite decades - the 90s.
Granted I was pretty wittle during this time, 
but honestly, the 90s was the best decade to grow up in, at least in my opinion.

Cartoons were better,
toys were better, 
and MASH existed.

I loved MASH,
You know the game where you plan out your entire future.
Yes, even at the age of ten I was an OCD over planner,
but hey, it's never too early.

Sometimes I would create really far-fetched, extravagant futures.
Justin Timberlake and I would live in our 25 bedroom mansion
and raise our 4 children (2 boys and 2 girls, obvs) together, 
living happily ever after. 

Other times, I would keep my dreams a little more realistic.
I'd marry my fourth-grade crush, become a teacher making $100,000 a year,
raise our 2-3 kids in a large, but comfortable house.

When I found this post over at Back East Blonde
I was catapulted back to every elementary school sleepover
spent day-dreaming about our futures and where we would be when we "grew up".

Last week, I made a few grown up goals with some of my other favorite bloggers.
And I realized that even at 24, I still love looking into the future
and imagining what my life will look like. 

I like convincing myself that one day, somehow I'll do real grown up things,
like pay off my credit card,
(oh wait, I did actually do that yesterday. heck ya)
drink red wine, and eat all my vegetables.

But in all reality, I hope my life in ten years
looks a little something like this:

I'm (obviously) still married to this hunk-a-burnin love and we're still having way too much fun together. I'm probably still begging him to snuggle with me before I fall asleep, begging him to let me turn off the ceiling fan, and still sleeping in too late on Saturdays.

We'll be able to sleep in late on Saturdays because our two children (one boy and one girl obviously) will understand the importance of leaving mommy and daddy (mainly mommy) alone before the hour of 9AM. They'll learn to be pretty self-sufficient in the mornings, watching Saturday cartoons and eating gluten-free chex-mix cereal. 

Of course, they'll have two sweet doggies to snuggle up with. Roxy and Willow will be the best big sisters ever. They'll be super protective of their new humans and spend all their time chasing them and giving them sweet kisses.

The only time we won't sleep in on a Saturday is Game Day Saturdays. On these days we'll dress our munchkins up in something that looks like this and head out for a fun-filled day of tailgating and football.

By this point we will have upgraded our living situation. In a perfect world we'd be living in the exact same spot (I love our neighborhood) just a bigger, more family-friendly house. However, I'm learning this is actually not that realistic. So instead, we will have found an equally charming house, hopefully in the same general area, with enough room for our family of four to have the right amount of personal space (man cave will still be included) but still the right amount of cozy togetherness.

We'll be financially comfortable enough to give our kids every opportunity they want. However, we'll still be pretty conservative with our money, living within our means, and teaching our children the importance of hard work and responsibility.

I'll drive a family appropriate 4-Runner. And will love every gas guzzling minute in it. It might have TVs in the head rests (I mean by 2023 I imagine this could be considered pretty standard) however, our children will not have to turn the TVs on every time we scoot up the road to Target. 

I'll still be teaching, but will be in grad school working towards my masters. On this same note, I will have finally have figured out what exactly I want to get my masters for. Unless of course we win the lottery. Then I'll be a happy stay at home mom who bakes gluten-free treats and crafts in her spare time.

We'll spend lots of time with our families - hanging out and making memories. 


But most importantly, as exciting as it is to think about our lives in the future,
it's also exciting to think about our lives right now
all the fun things going on today, in this moment. 
I am so thankful for all the blessing God has put in my life
and I look forward to enjoying each and every second with them.


Wednesday, April 24, 2013

ABC easy as 123.

So, little Mrs. Preggers Kaitlyn over at Wifefessionals,
plus some other pretty fabulous bloggers,
has this pretty cool link up going on right now.

Maybe I just think it's really cool because I love all things having to do with the ABCs
(hello First Grade teacher...)

Or it could be because Robbie and I kind of suck at dating.
I mean, we both enjoy the dates we go on
but we'll be the first to admit,
there is nothing unique or creative about them. 

Either way this is pretty cool.
Basically, each week will focus on one letter of the alphabet.
You think of something creative to do with that letter 
and link it up.

So this week is focusing on the letter E.
Which at first could be pretty tricky,
cause vowels are hard. 

But this was actually pretty easy for me.
So I decided to run with it.

Robbie and I love to go out to eat. 
So obviously, E is for eating.

But since we want to get creative with this whole alphabet dating game,
instead of going out to eat at just one specific restaurant, go to lots!!
Pick a different restaurant for each "course".
For example, go to one place for drinks and appetizers.
Another for your main meal.
And another for dessert.

Downtown New Bern is on the waterfront and has a lot of great restaurants all within walking distance.
Something like this would be absolutely perfect for a breezy summer night.


I think this is where I show off me and my main squeeze
experience this Letter E date.
Unfortunately - last weekend consisted of birthday parties, movies, and football
which isn't really that unfortunate,
except none of that starts with E
or has anything to do with eating at ten different restaurants in one night.

However, I'm still linking up, because I would love to hear if any of you have done or plan on doing something like this.
I also have every intention of making this happen for me and the mister in the near future.
Stay tuned!

Happy Hump Day dudes!


Tuesday, April 23, 2013

The more people I meet, the more I love my dogs...

Y'all - I have had this post just sitting in my drafts
since the day I found out about this link up,
because let's be real, if there's an opportunity to gab on and on and on
about my puppies, you know I'm going to take advantage of it.

And then, low and behold,
today came and almost went and I completely forgot!

I blame this on the fact that it is already April 23.
Like May is next week.
Holy cow.

Paws To Claws From California To Kansas

I've mentioned my dogs occasionally a lot on the blog
and I completely accept the title of "crazy puppy mom".


...is a seven year old black lab.
Robbie got her for Christmas when we were juniors in high school.
So technically she's his dog.
Although, we all know I'm really her favorite!

She is seriously the smartest dog I know.
She knows all sorts of tricks,
although she hates doing any of them,
and listens and obeys sooooo well.

She definitely has her "old lady" moments
(ie. when Willow is tormenting her)
but still has so much puppy in her.

Robbie and I like to think that we rule the nest
but really Roxy is in charge.
Shh...don't tell her I said that.

Roxy's Favorite Things
Swimming, laying on the couch, playing hide and seek with Robbie, going for short walks, hogging all the toys (specifically her stuffed buffalo or orange soccer ball), riding in the car, and eating bones.

Roxy's Not So Favorite Things
Willow (jk she really loves her), doing tricks on command, sharing the couch with others, waiting to be fed, going to the vet, and taking her medicine.


...is a two year old piebald dachshund.
She was my college graduation gift from Robbie
and while I was terrified of being a puppy mother
(seriously, those first few nights felt like a bad episode of Teen Mom)
she has completely stolen my heart.

She hardly knows any tricks
and rarely listens when she's supposed to.
But she can chase her toys up and down the hallway
and knows how to go right to her kennel when it's time for us to leave.

She loves most everything and everyone
and even though she's not the brightest crayon in the box
she is the funniest dog you'll ever meet.

Willow's Favorite Things
Roxy, snuggling, clean neatly-folded laundry, being outside, her pinky (stuffed toy), running (sometimes in circles), and sitting/sleeping in between me and Robbie.

Willow's Not So Favorite Things
Baths, car rides, wearing clothes, laying directly on hardwood floor, and eating dog food.


And in true "mommy" fashion, they are my complete life right now.
I have dog hair everywhere,
I find myself waking up in the middle of the night if I hear them making funny noises,
I miss them way too much when we leave them with "grandparents" for the weekend,
and I think everything they do is literally the cutest stinkin thing ever.

I know, it's crazy, buuuuut since this link up is for crazy fur mommies,
I don't mind waving the crazy flag at full staff.


 - While you're checking out all the other sweet furbabies here be sure to enter the amazing giveaway also going on.
 - Both of my dogs have taken over the blog once or twice. Check it out here and here.
 - It should be noted that in the middle of writing this post, I had to rush a sick doggy outside to avoid her throwing up on my carpet. If that doesn't make me a real mama, I don't know what does.
 - Because no puppy lovin post would be complete without a shout out to the very first dog I loved, I'll leave you with this sweet face.


Facebook Don'ts

I am so annoyed with Facebook right now.
So annoyed, in fact, that I find myself checking it every 5 seconds.
No one knew Mark Zuckerberg was really creating crack 
when he invented the book of face.
Damn you Zuckerberg. 

I know, I know. I could just delete it.
I'm sure it would save me a lot of time.

But then what would I complain about?
And better yet, how would I know about anything going on in the real world
if it wasn't for the completely biased,
unintelligent opinions of 3498745 of my closest friends people I don't even know?

Hence my Facebook conundrum.
And the topic of today's post.

Since I just can't bring myself to delete that little ole Facebook account,
I figured I could at least give y'all some sound Facebook advice.

I present to you:

Marianna's Unofficial Facebook DON'Ts

1. DON'T send me a game invitation. Sure I've dabbled in a few of those Facebook games
(never Farmville though, never.) but come on guys. How lame do you think I am? Don't answer that. 

2. DON'T post a status asking for people to message you their address if they're interested in attending your upcoming baby shower/birthday/wedding. I have one word for this - TACKY with a capital T.

3. DON'T post pictures of your freshly birthed baby. I won't even go far enough to say don't post ultrasound pictures, although 20,000 of them are a bit much. However, nobody, not even you really, wants to see a gooky, fresh outta the "you know what" baby. If you want to document that moment, go right ahead, but please save those pictures for the Baby Book, not the Facebook.

4. DON'T "share" everything. Oh em gee. Out of all the changes Facebook has made over the years, the "share" button has got to be my least favorite. There is no need to "share" every cool picture, post, article, you come across. Enough already. 

5. DON'T post nonsense pictures. You know the ones I'm talking about. "I'll give you $3,000,000 plus my first born child if this picture gets 50,000,000 likes." How bout, I'll punch you in the face if I see one more of these floating around my computer screen. Even the cutesy, inspirational quotes are getting to be too much. 

6. DON'T ever, and I mean ever, TyPe LiKe ThIs. iT iS oBnOxIoUs aNd hArD tO rEaD. Plus it takes freaking forever. 


I think that's enough for today. 
Study up. If you need to make changes in your current Facebook actions,
I understand. I don't think too much less of you for committing these Facebook crimes.
In fact, your obnoxiousness on Facebook gives me something to bitch blog about.
So, I guess maybe I should be thanking you?
But I'm not. 
Because these things are annoying.


Monday, April 22, 2013

W is for Weekend

and M is for Monday.
One of those letters obvs makes me happier than the other.
(Hint: It's not the M.)

But Mondays do mean I get to recap my wonderful weekend fun 
so there's that.


was a rainy, stormy day,
500 degree, 300% humidity and all.
We spent a lot of time "illustrating" poems
and listening to Justin Bieber radio on Pandora at school.

That night we drove to Kinston to see our famous little actor 
in the Wizard of Oz.

He was the coroner and a Flying Monkey 
(who actually flew around the stage, which was pretty terrifying).

If you've been paying attention,
my life's been on Oz overload lately. 
But I don't think I could ever be on Josh overload.

He's seriously the best
and will be on broadway one day, 
just y'all wait.


felt like three days in one.
ECU had their Purple/Gold Spring scrimmage
so of course, we headed to Greenville bright and early to get our tailgate on.
I always forget how comical it is watching the boys
set up all the stuff. 

Robbie stayed at the game 
and I went to the cutest one-year-old's birthday party.

That's Thad, my cousin, Riley's baby
aka the cutest one-year-old I know.

I mean, seriously.
That's me and Thad, wearing my gift to him.
Just call me the coolest cousin ever.

Despite all those presents, playing "bartender" was still his favorite game.

After I left the party, I went antiquing with my dad, step-mom, and grandma.
My dad and grandma have always had a love for antiques
(coincidentally so does Robbie's mom)
and growing up my Grandma would always take me and cousins to scour through antique stores.
I hated it then, but have found myself loving more and more antique pieces.

I came away with this...

Despite what the chalkboard top currently says,
it is not a reference to Sex and the City "coloring".
I originally saw this and thought it would be perfect for a little kids' room.
But since we don't have a little kid 
it's currently housing my craft stuff.

I also got a cast iron fireplace set
and while we'll probably actually never build a real fire
thanks to my hot husband,
who literally, is always hot,
it still looks snazzy sitting on our hearth!


After hearing the most amazing sermon at church,
I speedy quick cleaned my house
(slash made it semi-presentable for the upcoming week)
and then helped watched my dad landscape some of our backyard.

I hate yard work. 
And have never been a big flower/plant person.
I kill everything and honestly can't tell the difference between flowers.
A plant is a plant is a plant.
But I've been wanting something in our backyard 
that's actually alive and beautiful.
And since my dad gets the biggest thrill out of growing things
we knew he was just the man for the job.

And y'all...it looks so good. 
We've still got some work to do.
But I am already in love
(and I don't even love flowers).

Clearly, the girls were a huge help.

That night I painted my nails,
which is worth adding to my weekend shenanigans list 
because that's a big accomplishment.

I hope y'all had a fun-filled weekend.
Go link up with Sami and tell us all about it!

Oh and Happy Earth Day folks!


Friday, April 19, 2013

It all started with chocolate covered strawberries

I know that title would leave one to assume 
that an extremely romantical post is going to follow.
However, all those chocolate covered strawberries did for me 
was make my already racing mind,
a little more racey.

And by racey I don't mean oo la la racey
I mean....

Thoughts Running Through My Sugar Filled Brain Last Night

- Chocolate covered strawberries are the best after school snack ever. Eff those apple cinnamon rice cakes.

- JK. Those rice cakes also speak right to my heart.

- Crap. I forgot to link up today's blog post. The number of times I do that is a tad bit embarrassing.

- Willow, stop jumping up and down like a crazy person. You're cute and all but I need some personal space.

- JK again. I love you're jumping bean ways.

- I also love Robbie's "laundry-doing/yard-working" ways. God bless that man.

- Oh yea, epals. I need to get that ball rolling. School's almost over.

- Crap. School's almost over. There's only about 139834587 things I still need to teach my kids.

- Who am I kidding - school's almost over. Hells ya summatime.

- Okay...epals. "Robbie, would having pen pals in Canada be cool or lame?" No response. Probably cause it would be lame. What about South Africa? That's a cool place. I'll email them.

- What do you say to someone in South Africa?

- Enough of that, I'll probably just end up writing letters to my best friend in Little Washington (40 miles away). That counts as pen pals, right?

- Willow, seriously? Why are you still jumping around?

- Better question, why am I still wearing real pants? Yoga pants here I come.

- I wonder if Robbie's noticed that I put on yoga pants after school now instead of real pajama pants? He hates all my jammies. But men are specially programmed to love yoga pants, right? 

- Speaking of yoga pants - Sarah's post about workout clothes is ha-larious. It almost inspired me to actually go to the gym. Almost.

- Oh, yea! Robbie's grilling burgers tonight. Which means I don't have to think about dinner. I love the little housewife he's been today.

- I hope he doesn't think that's demasculating. 

- Wait, E-masculating!? Not DE-masculating!? Who knew?!?! Apparently that genius spell check knew, that's who.

 - Either way, I probably should go snuggle that little bear.

- Yes, and you too, Willow. Although it wouldn't hurt you to take a cue from your sister and calm down just a smidge. Like Whitney said - Crack is whack. But don't worry, I-i-i-i-i will always love you.

Both the loves of my life. Forreals. 

Peace out brussels sprouts,

P.S. Shout out to Miss Erin for this post inspiration.

Oh and Happy freakin' Friday!!! It's about time. 

Thursday, April 18, 2013

When I grow up I wanna be famous, I wanna be a star, I wanna be in movies...

(Anyone else sing that Pussycat Dolls song whenever you think about growing up?
No, just me? Cool.)

Two of my most favorite ladies are hosting this link up today
and obviously I had to participate
one, because I love them duh
and two, because I love when someone else tells me what to blog about.

Plus also, I love dreaming about what I want to be and do when I grow up.
Seriously, I've been dreaming about being a grown up my whole life.
I was that girl for sure.

And now that I've reached my first round of grown up dreams,
you know be a teacher, find a husband, own a house, blah blah blah,
I love dreaming about my second round of grown up dreams.
You know, what I'm going to do when I'm an actual grown up
because despite what my birth certificate says,
there's no way I'm even close to being a real grown up right now. Psh

Two Thirds Hazel

1. I'll be a morning person. I'm convinced one day it'll happen.

2. I'll be a stay at home mom. Real Housewives of Craven County holla at ya girl.

3. I'll eat real vegetables. Not just corn, cucumbers, and zucchini.

4. I won't be scared to go to the doctor by myself.

5. I'll know how to do my own taxes.
Except probably not really because my mom's a baller CPA and she loves me.

6. I'll make a budget and actually sort of kind of stick to it.

7. I'll actually have enough money worth budgeting.

8. I'll still throw back one too many margs with my besties.

9. I'll remember deadlines without having to leave myself 345982 sticky note reminders.

10. I'll love my honey as much as Shay's cutie patootie grandparents do.
(I imagine if my grandpas were still alive, they'd be the same way.)


What will you do or be when you grow up?
Go see Erin or Whitney and link up, ya hear?

Oh, and while you're there. Pass a long a friendly, jealous-filled "hate you" for all the fireball, tutu, NYC fun they're about to have over the next few days. 


Wednesday, April 17, 2013

I Can't Believe...

I can't believe....it's only Wednesday. Hello longest week ever.

I can't won't believe...my sunrise mimosa hibiscus plant is dead.
I mean with a name like that it has to be a fighter.
Maybe it's just a little hungover.

I can't believe...people think that harsher gun control laws are going to stop violence.
Don't get me wrong, I hate guns. They scare me.
But I just don't think the guns are necessarily the ones to blame.
Sure keeping guns away from certain people would help
but I think it's just a teeny bandaid and a much bigger, gaping wound.

I can't believe....how hot and bothered Obama is getting right now 
about that whole gun control thing.

(Sidenote - this is what happens when I watch the news while blogging.)

I can't believe....how much my dogs sleep.
Forreal, I want their life.

I can't believe....how much I want to get married again.
To the same guy of course. 
With wedding season gearing up, I just want to be a bride again.

I can't believe....I had two diet cokes and three cupcakes at work today.
In my defense, the cupcakes were mini.

I can't believe....how desperately I am in need of a hair cut. Woof.

I can't believe....it's supposed to rain this weekend
after being ABSOLUTELY gorgeous this entire week.

I can't believe.....you haven't linked up with Robin yet.
Unless of course you have. ;)


Monday, April 15, 2013


I wrote this post after the Sandy Hook shooting
and here we are, a mere 4 months later
looking at another heartless disgusting attack.

And all those emotions that ran through my head
and laid heavy on my heart in December
are back...again.

This isn't how it's supposed to be.
This is not the world we should be living in.
This is not the world our children should be raised in.
Heck, this is not the world I should be raised in.

It was a marathon. A freaking running race.
Why? Why does that seem like a good target?
Not that I'm even sure what a better target would have been.
Because there isn't one.

I saw something on Facebook (I know, such a reliable source of information)
where someone said we should focus on the people helping
because in situations like this, there are always heroic stories
and that's what we will focus on in the days to come.
The regular citizens, policeman, and other bystanders who didn't think twice
but put their life at risk to help others. 
"We shouldn't give up on mankind just yet."

And I know, in all reality that's true.
There are bad people in the world but that doesn't mean the world is bad.

However, I'm not quite there yet. 
I'm not quite ready to believe that today. 
Today I want to be angry.

Did you know, that there's still a tiny part of me that gets paranoid every time I go to the movie theater?
Going to the movies is me and Robbie's "thing". We love it.
But ever since the "Batman shooting" it makes me anxious.
I haven't stopped going because I refuse to let bad things like that keep me from living
and doing what I want to do.
But it changed it for me. Going to the movies isn't the same.

Today in fact, we had a Code 300 Lockdown drill at school
In the past, these were always secretly annoying, even as a student.
We had to scrunch into teeny, uncomfortable places
and be quiet for what seemed like hours. 
Now, my heart literally pounds out of my chest, even when I know it's just a drill.
And I've had to explain, again, to 23 six year olds 
about why we have to practice this drill 
and how they have to pretend like they are playing the most important game of hide and seek ever
because there are bad people in the world who could come into our school
and do bad things. 

There's an old country song that says 
"the devil's been so busy lately, even God must get the blues"
And honestly, could you blame Him?
I know God has a plan, one bigger than you or I could even begin to fathom.
But I can't help but feel like this is not quite it.

"God created mankind in His own image."
- Genisus 1:27

And honestly....this is not the image of God. 
The thing about it is, it's not just the fact that people are bombing marathons 
and shooting up public places. 
It's all of it.
Our whole attitude towards one another. 
We're all so ready to fight and point fingers.
We no longer can just be and let be. 
We no longer can go to something as simple and innocent
as a marathon, or a movie theater, or a flipping elementary school
and just be


I know this has probably been a long post of rambling nothings.
But I needed to just get it out, as scattered and off track as it sounds.
I know we will prevail, because we always do.
And I know at the root of things, the world is not a terrible place.
But it is hard. And it is often unfair.
And it does sometime just make me disgusted

For now, we can pray. 
For physical healing to those injured,
emotional healing to all those involved, directly or indirectly.
For the bastards, whoever they may be, who did this.
For forgiveness and strength to move on.
For comfort to the family and friends of loved ones lost.
And for our future, as individuals and as a country. 

Love one another and you've got a hug to spare, pass it along.


23 in 23 Update....dun dun dun

A while ago the lovely Mrs. Erin at Living in Yellow
hosted this pretty fabulous/slightly terrible link up.
I saw pretty fabulous because it was a really fun idea!
But slightly terrible because I didn't do a very good job at completing my list. Whomp.

Since my birthday was last week I figured it was a good idea
to revisit this list and update all the things I've accomplished....
or uh, things I still want to accomplish. There's always next year.

In my defense - I started this list in July. So it hasn't been a full year.
So technically, I've still got 3 months to squeeze some of these in. 

Here we go.
My mini bucket list of 23 things I wanted to accomplish in my 23rd year of life. 

1. Pay for the meal for the person behind me in the drive-thru line. I am so ashamed to admit that I didn't do this. Seriously this was one of the easiest things on my list. However, as soon as I made this list, we also went on a "no eating out spending budget" and then I started gluten-free so really I hardly ever find myself in a drive through line. I promise to do it one day soon though!

2. Run in the Jingle Bell Run for Arthritis againBoo. I didn't make this happen either. But I tried, so that kind of counts, right? The timing didn't work out. 

3. Learn how to paddle board. Nope. The majority of my time to work on this list ended up being when it was chilly. Although Robbie and I do have plans to go this summer. 

4. Create this. (With a picture of my own family, of course.)  Okay, this game is not fun anymore. I didn't get this done either.

5. Try (at least) 3 new recipes each month - including some Gluten-free meals.  Finally, something I can check off. I didn't try 3 new recipes each month. BUT I have tried a LOT of new recipes lately.  And I now plan out our weekly meals every Sunday and only buy what we need for those meals from the grocery store, cutting our grocery bill down by like $40. I'd say that's an accomplishment.

6. Keep blogging. And maybe reach 200 followers?  Y'all rock....forreal! 

7. Spend a rainy Sunday with my husband, Keith Urban style. ;) No surprise that this was able to happen, more than once.

8. Attend a professional football game. Didn't happen this season.

9. Host a real dinner party, using my fancy china and crystal. This was really only good in theory because I don't have a dining room table, yet. But, we have entertained lots of our friends in our new house, just sans fine china.

10. Get a puzzle piece tattoo. Oh yes I did! What can I say, I'm a rebel without a cause. Yes it hurt like a biotch. Yes I love it. No I don't want another.

11. Finish 90 days of Insanity. *crickets chirping* One of the girls at school started doing it at school in the afternoons, which was fun. And I managed to get through Day 1 with her. But that's about it. 

13. Attend church regularly. Robbie and I still haven't found a permanent church home but we have found a local church in town that we really enjoy.

14. Go to Wine & Design with my girlfriends. (And then kick myself for living in Raleigh for four years and never going to a class.) Done here with my number one girlfriend. And so much fun btw. 

15. Refinish a piece of furniture. Done here. :) Except now that piece of furniture isn't even in our house anymore. Whoops. That's what happens when your middle name is indecisive. 

16. Leave an anonymous secret in a public library book for someone else to find. (Post Secret style.) I am kicking myself right now for not doing this. I went to our public library for the first time in years, renewed my library card, and checked out The Great Gatsby for Bonnie's Blogging Book Club. But I didn't even think to leave a note. Don't worry, when I return The Great Gatsby it WILL have a secret in it!

17. Babysit this sweet (soon-to-be) little nugget so his mommy and daddy can have a date night (on me). This didn't happen (yet) either. He has too many grandparents hogging all his sugar. ;) But I did make them dinner right after they got home from the hospital. I feel like that was a pretty noteworthy, grownup thing to do. 

This is what that sweet little nugget looks like now. Melt my heart.

18. Surprise someone with something sweet. (Preferably our new fourth grade teacher I met tonight - she is the sweetest! but shh...don't tell.) This has kind of sort of happened. At the time of this original post, we had one new teacher at school. Since that time we have gotten seven more. Yea, it's crazy! And while I haven't necessarily done one particular thing, our school is really great about sneaking warm fuzzies whenever we can. (Hopefully if any of the "newbies" are reading this, they would agree.)

19. Vote. Done.

21. Surprise my husband for real with The. Perfect. Gift. Again, this kind of sort of happened. I don't think I've found The. Perfect. Gift. yet but my gift giving skills have been a lot better this year. (Hopefully Robbie agrees.)

22. Travel somewhere new. Unfortunately this didn't happen. 

23. Do all of these things and make a 24 in 24 list! :) A 24 in 24 list is still being determined. I didn't really do very well with this one so.....we'll see.